According to the National Council on Aging, about 80% of seniors are dealing with at least one chronic disease, and about three-quarters of seniors have two or more.
What’s more, four chronic diseases that occur more commonly among older adults — diabetes, cancer, stroke, and heart disease — cause about two-thirds of all annual deaths in the United States. That’s a lot to handle.
As a top-rated geriatric medicine provider in Nashville, Tennessee, Winston Griner, MD, offers comprehensive health care services for older patients at Affordable & Restorative Health, including remote monitoring and telehealth services to help manage many chronic diseases.
If you’re an older adult or you’re getting ready to enter your senior years, here are six of the most common health problems to watch out for.
There are different types of heart disease (the leading killer of adults over age 65), but one of the most common happens when your arteries become clogged with sticky plaques — a condition called atherosclerosis. That leaves less room for blood to flow, which means less blood and oxygen are able to reach your heart. Over time, this type of heart disease increases your risk for having a heart attack.
Osteoarthritis is a leading cause of joint pain, and it’s really common among older people. That’s because osteoarthritis occurs after years of wear and tear on your joints, and it can wind up causing a lot of joint pain and stiffness, no matter how active you’ve been. Arthritis can make it hard to socialize, and it can even interfere with simple daily activities.
About a quarter of Americans 65 and older have diabetes, placing them at higher risk for related diseases and conditions, including heart disease, stroke, blindness, and kidney problems. Diabetes requires careful and frequent monitoring to keep blood sugar levels in check. Yet many seniors don’t even know they have diabetes, let alone know how to manage the disease.
The second leading cause of death among people 65 and older is cancer. Having routine cancer screenings as you get older is one of the most important things you can do to prevent cancer. If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, working closely with your doctor is the best way to manage your health and find the best treatment.
Clogged arteries (atherosclerosis) don’t just cause heart attacks — they can cause strokes, too. Healthy living, including routine monitoring of your blood pressure and your cholesterol levels, is the best way to prevent stroke. There are also medications available to help you maintain your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic bronchitis, and asthma are all common among seniors, and each of these respiratory diseases can significantly affect your quality of life. Without proper management, these lung diseases can make you more prone to illnesses like the flu or even the common cold.
Remote monitoring for better management
Managing a chronic disease means frequent trips to the doctor for monitoring of your blood pressure, heart rate, and other factors that can affect your health. Dr. Griner uses the 100Plus® remote patient monitoring system to measure and record vital data without you needing to visit the office.
The 100Plus system uses state-of-the-art technology to gather health data, then transmits it to a central computer where it’s stored securely. Dr. Griner can access your data and make treatment recommendations during a telehealth visit, so you don’t need to plan a trip to our office.
Remote monitoring makes it a lot easier to get the care you need to manage a chronic disease, and it can also provide Dr. Griner with important information that can prevent other problems from occurring later. The 100Plus devices are designed to work right out of the box, with no frustration or confusion about how to operate them.
Make your health a priority
Getting older may present some health challenges, but with regular medical care, you can navigate those challenges and continue to lead a healthy, happy life.
To learn more about the 100Plus system or other ways to stay healthy as you age, call Affordable & Restorative Health or use our online form to schedule an appointment today. We offer telehealth appointments, too!